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The "Grand Ru" Trail

A "Rû" is an irrigation channel that allows water from melting snow/ice to reach meadows, fields and areas of land that are often left fallow. These channels lead the water to even the remotest and most impoverished places, allowing farmers to utilise every piece of land. Maintenance of these channels was governed by legal institute of the "corvées": pre-set days that beneficiaries of water from the channel had to work during the year. Therefore, along the "rûs" there are numerous pedestrian walkways, together with water control works, such as small enclosures.

Nature Trail

From Chanavey cross the bridge over the stream and follow, to the right, the wide trail along the stream on the right bank and reach the bridge at Oreiller. From Oreiller continue on the path along the stream; pass the hamlet of Chaudane and continue as far as Lake Pellaud. Turn right near the chapel and continue following the path until you reach the confluence with the walkway over the stream.

Goletta Lake

From "Rifugio Benevolo" follow the 13c path to the right, just after the Alpe of Soches you arrive at a crossroads; Follow the signs for the 13d trail. Continue along the path to reach the Goletta Lake.

Trail 7 - From Chaussettaz to PNGP (Gran Paradiso National Park) hut of Sort

From Alpe Chaussettaz follow the flat trail in a southerly direction up to the observation hut of the Gran Paradiso National Park of Sort.

Trail 8 - From Artalle to Chaussettaz

Trail no. 8 climbs back up the eastern slope of the valley through the protected forest of Artalle (41 specimens of Larix Decidua- European Larch). After crossing the stream you go up to the Gran Paradiso National Park hut in Péchoud. Crossing the stream once again, with modest climbs and descents, you get to the crossroads with trail 8a coming from Le Carrè. Continue south and go up to the ruins of Chaussettaz, at the junction with trail 8C.

Trail 8a - From Carré at the crossroads with Trail 8

Just before reaching the hamlet of Carré, near the bridge over the stream, take the path that goes up through the woods and arrive at trail 8. From here you can reach Chaussettaz or the PNGP hut at Péchoud.

Trail 8b - From Chanavey at the crossroads with Trail 8c

From Chanavey cross the bridge over the stream and follow the trail that rises to the left and then head right to reach the intersection with trail 8C that comes up from Bruil. From here you can continue to Alpe Chaussettaz.

Route 8c - Bruil/Chaussettaz

Crossed the bridge over the Dora of Rhêmes, in Bruil, the capital of Rhême-Notre-Dame, leave the nature trail and follow the path that rises to the left in the woods. Crossing the path of the Grand Ru, continue constantly uphill. Cross the crossroads with the Paths 9a and 8b, coming respectively from Oreiller and Chamavey, to reach the Alpe di Chaussettaz.

Trail 9 - From Bruil to PNGP hut of Sort

From the bridge over the stream, leave the nature trail and follow the trail that rises right into the woods at a fork. Leave the trail of Alta Via no. 2 and head left into the woods until you reach the Gran Paradiso National Park observation hut of Sort.

Trail 9a - From Oreiller at the crossroads with trail 8c

Near Oreiller, along the Nature Trail, take the trail that leads off and go up towards Canavesan and arrive at the junction with trails 8B and 8C.

Route 10 - Bruil/Col de l'Entrelor

Cross the bridge over the Dora di Rhemes, in Bruil, municipal seat of Rhême-Notre-Dame, then take High Route 2 (AV2). You soon come to the Pré-du-bois pasture (1789 m). Go up and walk alongside the brook for a brief stretch until you come to a wooden cross near Entrelor pasture (2140 m). Continue amid the wide meadows until you reach the Plan-de-Feye (2393 m). Go up a small rock wall and cross a debris channel until you come to Entrelor (3002 m).

Route 11 - Thumel/Col Leynir

From the car park in Thumel follow the paved road and after a few metres, turn left on the dirt road that goes down to a bar. Continue across the bridge over the Dora di Rhemes, and take route 11 which goes into the valley of Vaudalettaz. After reaching a pasture, then the park guard’s lodge, continue along pastures and stone terrain along traces of the trail until you come to two lakes of glacial origin. The climb continues up deposits of debris and moraine and snowfields as far as Col Leynir (3087 m).

Trail 11a - From Natura Trail to Thumel

The path 11a coincides with the Nature Trail to the point of observation No. 12, from here continue to skirt the stream until the trail 11 in Thumel.

Route 12 - Thumel/Col Rosset

Follow the paved road from the car park in Thumel and, after a few hundred metres, continue straight along route 12 near a bend on the now dirt track. Cross a bridge and take the path to the left. Cross the Dora di Rhemes over a bridge and head into the valley of the Grand Vaudalaz stream. After a steep climb, you come to a plateau with Alpe Grand-Vaudalaz. Now, as you come to a junction, continue along route 13A on the left. You first go up onto high altitude meadows and then deposits of debris and moraine to reach Col Rosset.

Route 13 - Thumel/Refuge Benevolo

Follow the paved road from the car park in Thumel and, after a few hundred metres, continue straight along route 13 near a bend on the now dirt track. Cross a bridge and follow the trail running alongside the ruins of Alpe Barmaverain and go past a foaming waterfall. When you come to the dirt road near the Gran-Golettaz, go left over the bridge over the Dora di Rhemes. Return to the trail that touches sections of the dirt road before reaching the Lavassey pasture and then the Benevolo refuge.

Trail 13d - From Benevolo Shelter to Col Bassac Déré

From the shelter cross the bridge and take the trail that heads right and leads to Alpe Sauches. Veer left and follow towards the crossroads with trail 13C. Leave the left trail and head northwest to the juncture with the trail coming from the right. Veer left and follow up to a crossroads until reaching Lake Goletta. Continue by crossing the detritus plateau then climb up to Col Bassac Déré.

Trail 14 - From Barmaverain to Col Bassac

From the farmstead of Barmaverain, take trail 14 and follow it until the fork near the Forestry Commission's base at an altitude of 2,419m. Continue climbing until you reach Col Bassac (3,155 m).

Route 15 - Bruil/Col Fenêtre de Torrent

From the centre of the village of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame you follow the tarmac road going down the valley for about two hundred metres until you come to La Veforche; near the car park (on your left) you take the footpath that climbs up between the meadows. You cross the bridge over the mountain torrent and continue on a zig-zag path climbing up the grassy slopes dominated by a high rock face and then cross a small coniferous wood. When you reach the grassy ridge, the trail draws a long diagonal line climbing gently as far as the Torrent mountain pastures. From here you bear left going across a large alluvial canyon which you then walk alongside over sparse pastureland as far as the foot of a rock face. Then going right you climb upwards round several bends up the steep slope with debris and pastures which leads to Col Fenêtre.

Observation binoculars

The binoculars available to tourists and hikers were placed in Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, along with 13 others in the Gran Paradiso National Park and the Mont Avic Natural Park, thanks to the Giroparchi project. At the base of each binocular there is a skyline showing the main mountains visible from the viewing point.

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